There are endless iterations of training programs, workout plans, fitness regimens, get-fit-quick schemes and the like littering the internet. While you, the would be consumer and user of said things, may think that the secret to better health, performance, and body composition is hidden within the depths of internet land, there is in fact a very simple way to understand and apply critical reasoning to any program you may be considering starting.
The human body is complex in many regards, but the primary patterns of movement it is capable of do not fit in the category of high complexity.
In terms of human movements we can divide them into a few primary categories. Let’s start with the upper body.
UPPER BODY PATTERNS
- Vertical Press
- Vertical Pull
- Horizontal Press
- Horizontal Pull
LOWER BODY PATTERNS
- Hip Hinge
Perform quick test of these movements and you’ll notice that you can do all of them under a doorway. Hence, the reason we call them “Doorway Movements”. Now, layer on top of these primary patterns of upper and lower body movement, the three primary planes of human movement, pictured below:
It should be obvious that we can move in more than just the direction straight through the doorway. Moving side to side and rotating are not just available motions, they’re necessary components to train in order to develop well-rounded strength. Being strong in the Coronal (a.k.a. “Frontal”) Plane and Transverse (a.k.a. “Rotary”) Plane actually contributes to better Sagittal (a.k.a. “Doorway”) Plane strength. For you meatheads and bros out there, being strong in all three planes means better bench, squat, and deadlift totals.
Throughout our warm-up, training, and cool-down, we can apply these primary human movement patterns. You don’t have to focus on just one area per-session. And you don’t need to spend 30 minutes on activating every muscle in your body before you feel comfortable picking up a weight. Your warm-up should look like your workout. For example, if you’re going to barbell back squat, it’s a good idea to do a few body weight squats rather than just bend over to touch your toes or grab your foot and pull it to your butt. The warm-up should send a clear message to your body and your brain you’re about to do something similar with more intensity. If your workout is primarily full of horizontal pressing or pulling (i.e., bench pressing, or rowing variations), mix in a few movements that force your arms to move out to the side, or even diagonally across your body. The cool down should flush your body and your nervous system in such a way that you stimulate the recovery process. Here, once again, body weight movements are a great idea.
Developing better strength, fitness, and athleticism is only possible when employing training that encompasses these fundamental laws of human movement. There is a skill component to these movements, but a quality coach will challenge and improve all of these patterns, shoring up weaknesses and building better depth to the individual’s strengths along the way. Anyone, athlete or not, who employs a plan such as this will experience exponentially better results than someone stuck in a plan that doesn’t address the multi-dimensional character of human movement and performance.
Paraphrasing a popular quote:
“Smart work beats hard work when hard work doesn’t work smart.”
If you need some help figuring the ins and outs of a quality training program, give us a shout here through our “Consulting” page.
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